Question: I recently got my dream job being the Executive Director for a nonprofit whose mission is very dear to my heart. I am excited about leading an organization with such a worthy cause. My problem is that I have never managed so many young workers before. As a nonprofit, our pay scale is not the best and we tend to hire recent college grads that are looking to get experience in lieu of the big salaries of corporate jobs. Our age gap is causing me problems communicating and relating to them. I am reading books on the different generations at work. Can you give me some tips on how to lead the different generations?
Alice Waagen says: Gen X, Gen Y, Millennial, I get such heartburn when I read the blather on generational differences. Most, if not all of this stuff is little more than stereotyping a very large age cohort with a lot of negative qualities. Here is a short list of descriptors I’ve read about Millennial employees: lazy, entitled, poor communicators, web-obsessed. I’ll bet you that list was not written by a Millennial but probably by someone from an older cohort group. (more…)
Question: I am the CEO of a small startup and am sick and tired of the office drama around dating. Don’t get me started on the headaches that come when there is a break up. I sometimes think I am running a High School, not a business. I want to institute a policy that prohibits dating work colleagues. Can I do that?
Alice Waagen says: Sure, you’re the boss, you can do anything. But good luck enforcing such a policy. Soon you will have your HR folks turned into the Dating Police which will drive them nuts!
The whole issue of having personal relationships with coworkers is a murky minefield. (more…)
Last week I attended a presentation about managing different generations in the workforce. If I had one wish granted by the genie of business wishes, it would be that this generational nonsense just go away. It is based on what I consider very faulty logic that goes like this: as we grow up, significant events that occur during our early maturation years of adolescence influence our beliefs and values. I am okay with that, it makes sense. These early influences then determine our behavior in the workplace. Whoa, we need to stop there. I can certainly buy that someone growing up with the 911 tragedy playing out might have a sense of threat or uncertainty that an older person may not feel. But does that drive their behavior in the workplace? I do not see it.